Taxpayers are struggling, says the city’s Director of Taxation
By Samantha Craggs
A record number of properties are being slapped with liens because Hamilton home and business owners can’t pay their taxes.
By the end of 2013, the city will have registered more than 500 properties after warning owners that time is up to pay their overdue taxes.
That’s the highest number in at least 10 years, said Larry Friday, the city’s director of taxation.
“It’s an indicator of the economic health of the municipality if your taxpayers are struggling,” he said.
The number of taxpayers behind on their taxes has steadily increased since the recession began in 2008.
There were 323 properties registered with tax liens in 2008. That number increased to 368 in 2010 and 400 last year. This year, there will be at least 100 more, Friday said.
When a property owner’s taxes are three years overdue, the city sends a letter — 1,091 of them in 2008 and 1,840 in 2012. This year, the city sent nearly 2,000 letters.
Friday blames the deep impact of the recession. As people lose jobs and companies struggle with cash flow problems, tax bills take lower priority, he said.
Article and image source: CBC Hamilton